What’s the Compassionate Approach to the Transgender Bathroom Debate?

It's no longer a question of access, but it's a question of compassion. On Friday, May 13, the Obama administration issued a directive to all public schools informing teachers and administrators that in order to comply with federal law, policies concerning students must be based on the student's "gender identity," not on his or her biological sex.

With a major retailer granting transgender access to their restrooms and our local schools being threatened with loss of federal funding if they don't comply with this directive, the "transgender bathroom debate" is no longer a hypothetical discussion. Transgender access to public restrooms is happening.

We need to deal with the fact that the bathroom door is swinging wide open to invite all to enter.

Males and females are no longer expected to use the restroom corresponding with their biological sex, but all individuals are being granted free access to whichever facility corresponds with the gender they identify with.

Showing Compassion to Those Involved

I must confess, I feel for those who are at the center of this controversy. I feel for the children who are confused about their gender and are convinced they are living in the wrong body. I feel for the parents of these children who want to protect their child from harassment and "injustice." I feel for the local school boards who are caught in the crosshairs of this cultural firestorm. I feel for those who think they are being discriminated against.

What is the compassionate approach to this issue?

Compassion is needed, that is for sure. But the discussion needs to center on the real protection of women and children rather than protection of the transgender movement. Compassion calls for wisdom and recognition of whose rights are actually being trampled.

Granted, there are real individuals who are hurting on both sides of this divisive issue. But who is the most vulnerable in this fight for "freedom"? The helpless ones in this fight are the children.

Protecting Our Sons and Daughters

I've had the heartbreaking conversations with little girls who've been sexually molested. I've seen the devastation that comes from children's exposure to perversion. I've felt the fear of walking into a restroom alone, as a child, and that was long before the possibility of transgender accessibility.

The popular culture doesn't want to consider it; the threatening voices crying out for "equality" seem to have forgotten the fact that opening the bathroom door to welcome males who identify as females also leaves the door open for pedophiles, child abusers, perverts, and pretenders. Our culture is in denial of the real danger this agenda presents.

There is a sinister aspect to this whole debate—one that will walk right through that restroom door to take advantage of our daughters and sons.

The option of private, single occupancy, unisex bathrooms has been rejected with the claim that this alternative is a form of discrimination. But who is really receiving discrimination?

When we provide preferential treatment to a segment of society based on an individual's choice to identify as a gender other than his or her biological sex at birth, we're ignoring who really needs our protection: children. They haven't asked for this, they aren't demanding safety, but they should expect that we will fight for their protection.

How are we providing a safe place for our children?

As Jesus saw the helpless ones, those who needed protection, those who were wandering and shepherdless, He was moved with compassion and He recognized their need.

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (Matt. 9:36).

Have you considered who the "helpless" ones are in this debate?

Taking Action

Will you consider taking a few action steps with me?

  1. Stay informed, and voice your concerns in a humble and considerate manner.
  2. Contact your local gym, retail stores, and school boards to voice your concerns.
  3. Contact your state legislators and voice your concerns—or thank them if they are already taking measures to oppose these policies.
  4. Reach out for thoughtful conversations with friends and family members who support transgender bathroom and locker room access.
  5. Pray for a spiritual awakening in our nation that will revive the church and transform those who need the life-giving message of the gospel.

This isn't a time for angry voices and emotional rhetoric; this is a time for compassion. But it is also a time to speak. We cannot remain silent. Compassion requires that we courageously and winsomely open this conversation. We must speak up for the helpless who will be most impacted by this sweeping cultural shift.

I hope you will take ten minutes to watch this video explaining how our children are at risk and consider sharing this post and video with others.

How can you demonstrate compassion as our nation grapples with this issue?

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About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She's the author of Fierce Women, and is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.

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